12 August 2022
by Alex Brinded

World's first iron-framed building restored

Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, UK, will open to the public from Saturday 10 September after a £28 million, eight-year restoration.

large red-bricked five storey warehouse
Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings after restoration © Historic England

After being closed for 35 years four of the eight buildings on the complex have been redeveloped by Historic England.

The Main Mill on the site was built in 1796-97 and is known as the 'grandparent of skyscrapers'.

Designed by the architect Charles Bage, it was the first to have an internal frame of cast iron columns, beams and tie rods which gave it the necessary structural strength for multiple storeys.

The flagship project from Historic England showcases a ground-source heat-pump, maximises natural lighting and ventilation, as well as reuses materials - such as floor tiles from the flax mill on the window ledges.

The Cross Mill, the Dye House, Apprentice House and the Warehouse still require funding for restoration.


Alex Brinded

Staff Writer